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Macro butterflies


These photos were taken at the Butterfly Preserve in Santa Barbara California. This butterfly is called the Zebra Longwing, and as you can see has quite the long wingspan compared to the flower it has landed on.

Title: Zebra Longwing butterfly on a pink flower
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 2x diopter


Butterflies are often seen in batches but they move so fast it’s somewhat difficult to capture them. Luckily I was able to capture the Buckeye on the left resting on a rock with another butterfly just in time.

Title: Buckeye and Great Southern White butterflies
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 2x diopter


The Zebra Longwing looks much different as it lands on a flower and hides it’s wing, but it still stands out among the greenery.

Title: A pair of Zebra longwing butterflies
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 2x diopter


The Giant Swallowtail butterfly is quite unique with it’s wing pattern and varying colors from light yellows to deep blues.

Title: Giant Swallowtail on a white flower
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4 2x diopter

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/in-another-world/

In another world

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These pictures were shot in the forest where it can be quite dark and mysterious. Here the girl is being taken away from above.

Title: I’d take you where nobody knows you.
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8


It’s hard to defy gravity but this subject does it quite well. It’s that moment in a dream right before you hit the ground and jump up out of bed.

Title: Hang ghosts from the trees
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8

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Swim & surf

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The Port Hueneme beach has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past few years with water eroding the sand quite rapidly. As you can see, the lifeguard station is rather close to the sand cliff and the yellow flag is seen dancing in the wind.

Title: Swim & surf
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 35mm f/3.5


As clouds blanket the sky, it offered a rare moment of shade to capture the unique patterns.

Title: Seaside pond
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8


Sunset is always beautiful on the beach, and today had a rather cloudy sunset that offered very vibrant deep colors of blue, grey, and purple.

Title: Just before the sunset
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 35mm f/3.5


This is one of the most unique cloud patterns I have seen. The dark blue cloud looks almost as if it’s wrapping itself around the atmosphere and the scale is quite large compared to the palm trees in the background.

Title: Coastal roll clouds
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 35mm f/3.5

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/summertime-sea/

Summertime sea

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The waves crashing on the shore during high tide. You can see how slanted the beach has become.

Title: Summer seascape
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8


Seagulls like to hang out on bench dividers near the beach. Perhaps they are people watching.

Title: Seagull
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8


This seashell catches the eye because of the deep ridges it has. Sometimes these shells are stuck in the sand and barely visible.

Title: Sand & seashells
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8


It’s rare to find starfish this large, so this particular one was a treat.

Title: Golden starfish
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/upper-montane-forest-plant-life/

Upper Montane Forest Plant life

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Continuing on the flora of Florence Lake California, this waxy looking succulent plant caught my eye right away due to it’s fiery colors of orange and yellow against the white granite rock.

Title: Upper montane succulents
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


Green plants like this are very common in the subalpine zone. This particular leaf was very vibrant against the sun and the picture shows the various veins which plants have.

Title: Aspen tree leaf
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


These white flowers seemed delicate but was host to a variety of flying insects, including bees. This particular flower is indigenous to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Title: Mariposa desertparsley
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


Fallen ferns like this are usually found on the ground in the Florence Lake woods, but are usually far past decay. Luckily this one was fresh and still very green.

Title: Fallen fern
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4 4x diopter

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Florence lake camping up close

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This fungus-like form was found on a Foxtail Pine that was hard to notice at first but once I got near the tree, it popped out quite vibrantly.

Title: Fungus on a foxtail pine tree
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


This green mold on a granite rock was very spotty and has a mustard type color.

Title: Mustard green mold
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


Often you will find dried sap on the pine trees in the area, and sometimes you even find one oozing.

Title: Pine tree sap
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4x diopter


This tree bark had a very interesting pattern and looked quite weathered.

Title: Weathered tree bark
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4 4x diopter

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/camping-at-florence-lake-2/

Camping at Florence lake

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These photos were taken at Florence Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountain’s in California. This is a very secluded area only accessible by a one lane road. This particular picture was taken at Florence Lake, one of the biggest lakes in the area.

Title: Florence lakeshore
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 


On top of the granite rock near Florence Lake offers an amazing view of the valley and mountain range behind it which can easily get up to heights of 10,000 feet.

Title: High sierra tree line
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: Mamiya 35mm f/3.5


Ward lake is a small lake near Florence Lake that offers one of the most beautiful views in all of California. This lake is filled with many smaller fish and bald eagles can be seen soaring over the lake in the afternoons.

Title: Ward lake
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 


This picture was taken at sunset in Jackass Meadows, a peaceful place away from the rest of the world. The contrast in the sky was extremely vibrant pinks and purples that lasted for 10 minutes. A very small window to capture this moment in time.

Title: 4th of july sunset
Location: Florence lake, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4 

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/summer-vacation/

Summer vacation

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This cute picture was taken in New Jersey in May when the flowers were starting to bloom. I found this gazebo by the river and it looked nice and secluded.

Title: Spring kiss
Location: Edison, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 


This photo was taken at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. This particular sculpture was unique as it invited people to stand in the middle and really examine each sculpture.

Title: Still like a sculpture
Location: Hamilton, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 


Here is a candid picture taken of a sculpture that was simply a rounded mirror, making one reflect on their own life perhaps.

Title: Round reflection
Location: Hamilton, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 


This sculpture was easily one of the most unique being all wood and hand carved. It stands quite tall at around 17 feet, looming over anyone that stands under it. It’s interesting to think how much time and love it took someone to create such a beauty.

Title: Hand carved wood sculpture
Location: Hamilton, New Jersey
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4 

New Post has been published on http://sammyphoto.com/photos/dreaming-of-california/

Dreaming of California

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My little brother was in California visiting me a few weeks ago. He does some modeling so we went around and did some fun photo shoots. I hope you enjoy this collection.

Title: Beach bum
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 

Title: I am your brother
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 

Title: Dreaming of the sea
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 

Title: Floating in bamboo forest
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Camera: NIKON D80
Lens: 24-70mm f/2.8 4